Knee Fractures and St. Louis Workers’ Compensation
The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help ensure that you are getting the full benefits that you deserve from a knee fracture injury.
The knee cap, or patella, is a shield for the entire joint, protecting the many components inside from trauma. Still, it is susceptible to a fracture from a direct fall onto your knees or a blow like in a car accident. A knee fracture is a serious knee injury that often needs surgery in order to heal properly. Even then you may be feeling the effect of the fracture for years afterwards.
If you sustain a knee injury in a work related accident, your employer is obligated to use their workers’ compensation insurance to cover the cost of the treatment. This no fault insurance plan is meant to cover such costs for all Missouri employees in exchange for you not filing a personal lawsuit against an employer when injured at work.
If you are unsure of how to claim these benefits after a knee fracture, our law firm can assist. Having helped hundreds of Missouri workers injured on the job, James M. Hoffmann has a specialized knowledge of how the system works, and the best way to pursue your rightful benefits.
What Causes a Knee Fracture?
A fracture to the knee is sustained in an accident, such as if your legs hit the dashboard in a work related car crash. The force of impact can break the bone, causing intense pain. An indirect knee fracture can also happen if you move your legs in such a way that the muscles of the thigh were to contract violently and pull the patella with force.
The front of the joint swells in a knee fracture, and you will note bruising in the area. This type of knee injury will inhibit your ability to straighten your leg or walk. If you experience these symptoms after an accident at work, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. Knee fractures are serious and can quickly lead to more damage to the joint if not diagnosed and treated quickly.
Diagnosing and Treating Knee Fractures
The bony covering of the knee is close to the skin, making it easy for a physician to locate by feeling the area. He or she will then check for any swelling inside of the knee, as this is indicative of bleeding caused by a fracture. An imagining exam like an X-ray will then be ordered in order to view the fracture properly and decide on a course of treatment.
If the force of the blow to the knee did not displace the bone, surgery may not be necessary. Instead, your doctor will either secure the knee with a splint or cast, keeping it straight until it heals properly. No weight can be put onto the knee while it is healing, which can take up to two months or longer. Crutches may be used during this time in order to keep the all pressure off of the knee.
When the knee fracture has caused the pieces of bone to become displaced, surgery may be required in order to repair the fracture.
The Prognosis for Knee Fractures
Whether your treatment is surgical or not, rehabilitation will play a part in restoring mobility to the knee after a fracture. Having a leg immobilized for a long period of time can cause the leg muscles to weaken and reduce the range of motion in your knee. Your physician will let you know when you can resume normal activities after undergoing treatment for a knee fracture.
Even with surgery, there is always a chance that the joint will never return to its prior condition after a knee fracture. Chronic pain and arthritis are common after a knee fracture, and may have an impact on your quality of life.
Knee Fractures and Workers’ Comp Benefits
Not only is your employer responsible for paying for the treatment of a knee fracture through their workers’ compensation provider, they may also have to assist you with the long term care that some Missouri workers need after suffering from such an injury.
If you believe that you are not receiving the full benefits allowed to you, or if benefits have been stopped with no explanation, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann today at (314) 361-4300. We can help ensure that you are getting the full benefits that you deserve from a knee fracture.